Try Giving Jamestown a Chance

We have a crisis in this state, actually in many places in this country. There isn’t enough housing. It’s pretty simple, two people have two children and then those children have two children. That, over time, makes for a lot of people. Many people want to live in the Bay Area because it has few faults. Mostly it is awesome. The weather is great, people are diverse and interesting, there is a lot to do and ways to expand your world that most places don’t have. I hear so many people complain about not being able to afford to live here and how more people will cause traffic all in one paragraph. I’m sorry but you can’t have it both ways. 

I want to be rational and clear that it’s good to have lots of opinions and we should all be respectful when someone has a point of view that is different as long as they have some actual facts to accompany their stance. When the South Shore plan first went public, speculation and extreme comments hit social media instantly. No one could have possibly read it before they hated it. Please let’s all take a step back and realize that this is one of those things where we are all going to get some things we want and some things we don’t. 

First of all, rushing to judgement over a 20-year plan is the equivalent of doing so about a third-grader’s future wedding. Something well into the future and we have time to make some changes to the plan.  Second, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Look at parts of the project and make your list based on segments. You might actually find you have a degree of agreeableness to a segment or two. Third and my favorite, no they aren’t going to build something they think might fall down. There are engineers and engineers who oversee engineers. 

Also, the people investing these kinds of dollars thought about that ahead of time. Fourth, I would love to say that not all developers are created equal. They aren’t all bad. Do they want to make a profit? Yes, but there are ways to make a profit and do some good at the same time. Let’s bite off a bit of this one together. The developer is Jamestown Properties, yes they are big. They are really big. They are also pretty out-of-the-box, forward-thinking builders. Let’s think about the little bit they have done. 

First thing they did was take down the Town Centre sign and rid us of the name problem. There is a kids’ play area. They have hosted some amazing events for all of us to enjoy, and they have really worked to make sure we have some good local businesses.

I go to one of their Atlanta properties, Ponce City Market, for work a couple times a year. One of the things I am most impressed with at this location is the effort they have put into making sure that even though there is an Anthropologie there is a local jean store and a small card shop. It is truly impressive how many local business owners are in that place. On top of shopping there are public transportation options. Yes, options. There are offices, housing, big stores, little stores, local eateries and so many activities. Creatively thought out is exactly what comes to mind when you see Ponce City Market. 

I can tell you, I don’t love traffic any more than the next person, but I also want to have enough housing to stabilize the local rent market. I can also tell you a full, thriving town filled with small families and young couples starting life together is good for our community and good for small business. 

I have owned a small business here in town for more than 20 years and I am excited to have a creative project come to town. So let’s come together to build housing we all can live with and get to know our new neighbors instead of everyday saying goodbye to a family we love.